Weekend garden accomplishments

I had a productive Sunday working in the garden. The sun shone! No indoor chores on my To Do distracted me from my gardening objectives, despite my best intentions to get at least a few done, and I had the help of my son without too much pre teen angst.

We cut the Matilija Poppies (Romneya coulteri) back, removed Penstemon, and replanted next to the driveway as planned. Some extra Aristida purpurea was planted to eventually fill gaps in the front yard. This grass is my current favorite. For a while I had misidentified A. purpurea, thinking it was Nassella pulchra, but I got that straightened out during a summer visit to the Payne Foundation when I noticed the plant tags didn't match up well with my idea of how things ought to be. I started a bunch of seed at that time and from now on it's A. purpurea as my go to grass.

We mowed the (evil turf) lawn and raked up magnolia leaves. They don't tend to compost well, so we throw them out in the city's green garbage. We have a push mower, so it doesn't shred the leaves like a power mover can.

We moved a Symphoricarpos mollis (Creeping Snowberry) to a more pleasing location and planted a third nearby to make a visually pleasing trio. I felt that now was the best time to transplant. We'll see if I am successful. I've decided that my natives can get a dose of B1 vitamin when I transplant them and it won't hurt them too much. Aside from general warnings that natives don't need fertilizer like exotics (referring to N-P-K type fertilizers), I don't think I've seen any discussion about using B1 to prevent transplant shock in native plants.

My son transplanted yarrow to fill in between the cracks in the side yard pavers.

In the vegetable garden we cleaned up, collected some forgotten cow beans, planted sweet pea seed and winter squash, mulched, and sowed Phacelia seed as green mulch in much of the rest of the vegetable garden. The Phacelia was highly successful last year as a flower in the front and as green mulch in the vegetable garden, though it tends to germinate late in the shady corner. Along the way I realized that my garden rows are E-W oriented, and really ought to be N-S oriented. That won't get fixed any time soon.

I repotted the bitter orange that I've grown from seed from 1 gallon to 3 gallon containers. I didn't even see any roots in the 1 gallon, so I guess I'm well ahead of the growth curve there.

Finally we planted several pots with natives. I tried composing small plant vignettes with extra Aristeda purpurea that I had grown from seed earlier this year. The A. purpurea is the tall element and around it I placed bulbs, checkerbloom, blue eyed grass, and the like. The California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica) was a little different.

Pictures would be worth 1000 words here, but I haven't had access to a memory card reader in a while. Maybe I'll be able to update this post later.

Other accomplishments: Saturday was a cluster f*ck while we waited hours to get turned away from the H1N1 vaccination clinic. Warren and family were ill, so we didn't get to see them. Haunted Hayride - somewhat expensive, but well executed and fun for me. Scary for little kids. Spooktacular carnival on Friday at my son's school. I bought a couple items at the silent auction to help raise money for the school. A flat tire (again with the sharp objects!). Wash, meals, etc.

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